UBER about to be regulated in Ottawa
Since its debut in October 2014, Uber has profoundly transformed public transportation in the city of Ottawa. More than 2000 drivers and 100 000 riders are now registered with UberX.
Why discuss about UBER on TimeToElectrify.ca ?
I have closely monitored Uber’s implementation here in Ottawa and in other canadian cities. Many people in the EV world network quickly informed me that about ten EV owners are UberX drivers here in Ottawa. They became EV ambassadors, trip after trip ! In future posts we’ll discuss these electric vehicles and the numerous changes since UBER’s debut.
Making change happen : City of Ottawa’s new regulation
The craze for UberX from the riders, most of them national capital citizens, ensured that City Council approved the scope of a comprehensive review of the City’s taxicab and limousine regulations this last week.
Based on broad-based feedback received from stakeholder groups and the research outcome of KPMG, a number of design guidelines were developed for City consideration, to guide the drafting of the detailed recommendations and implement new public transportation options. These are as follows:
- Alignment with the Guiding Principles: achieving public safety, accessibility and consumer protection.
- Level Playing Field: having consistent City regulation for various types of service models, with differences existing only when necessary (i.e., in areas where there is a significant difference in service delivery models that impacts public safety, accessibility, consumer protection or customer service). This concept was promoted consistently by representatives of the taxi industry in the consultation process and was generally supported by other stakeholders as well.
- Fostering Innovation: considering future changes that cannot be foreseen. Customers in particular expressed appreciation of the innovations introduced into the vehicle-for-hire industry and the improvements in service they have produced. They expressed concern about any loss of the recent innovations and openness to further positive innovations.
- Modernizing and Simplifying Regulation: Re-examining regulations governing the taxi and limousine industries and limiting regulation to only what is necessary in order to achieve the guiding principles. A reduction in regulatory burden will support innovation now and in the future by removing certain regulatory barriers, in that excessive regulations can constrain new ideas, approaches and business models.
The most important aspect is the creation of a new category : Private Transportation Company (PTC). UBER will now be considered as a PTC.
On Wednesday April 13, 2016, Ottawa City Council will vote on its new Taxi and Limousine Regulation and Service. A favorable vote result will allow UBER to operate within Ottawa’s regulations.